I'm writing a paper on astronomical seeing. Sir Isaac Newton identified both the phenomenon and origin of astronomical seeing in his Opticks. He writes:
If the Theory of making Telescopes could at length be fully brought into Practice, yet there would be certain Bounds beyond which Telescopes could not perform. For the Air through which we look upon the Stars, is in a perpetual Tremor; as may be seen by the tremulous Motion of Shadows cast from high Towers, and by the twinkling of the fix'd Stars.
is anyone aware of any older reference from Gilbert, Galileo, Harvey, Ptolemy, Copernicus or Kepler?